When I called my mom to ask for advice about my drafty bedroom, she told me that I should buy a portable electric heater. I loved that simple solution, but before she hung up, my mom warned me to be very careful, as these devices are responsible for several fires a year.
Since the last thing I want is to cause a fire in my apartment, so I looked up some safety tips from energy.gov for using an electric heater. The Department of Energy experts recommended that I make sure to:
1. Keep my heater from tipping over. Somel of the fires that these electric heaters end up starting happen because a machine ends up getting knocked over. Manufacturers now make several models that come equipped with a tip over safety switch for fire prevention. The space heater that I purchased has one of these, and I feel so much more secure knowing that it will automatically turn off if something knocks it over.
2. Purchase the right size for your room. Space heaters tell their range in the product information. If you're buying a unit for a small space like I am, make sure that you don't get one that's too powerful, or this can be a fire hazard.
3. Plug it directly into the wall. Since these machines require a significant amount of electricity and generate heat, it's important to plug them into a wall outlet and not use an extension cord. If you must use an extension cord, the website recommends an industrial strength 14-gauge wire.
These tips made me feel that I can confidently use my electric heater without the risk of fire, hopefully they will work for you too!